World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Female genital mutilation must end

Female genital mutilation must end

UNICEF Calls on Governments to Honour Commitment to End the Discriminatory and Harmful Practice

NEW YORK, 6 February 2005 – UNICEF today reiterated its call on governments to move swiftly to stop the harmful practice of female genital mutilation and cutting.

“Female genital mutilation and cutting is a violation of the basic rights of women and girls,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said Friday, speaking on the eve of the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation. “It is a dangerous and irreversible procedure that negatively impacts the general health, child-bearing capabilities and educational opportunities of girls and women.”

More than 130 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), a practice that occurs in countries ranging from Senegal and Mali to Yemen and Oman. FGM/C is also being performed in some parts of southeast Asia and reports from Europe, North America, and Australia show the prevalence of the practice among immigrant communities.

Bellamy said that ending all forms of FGM/C is crucial to the success of two of the Millennium Development Goals: improving maternal health and promoting gender equality. She reiterated UNICEF’s call on governments to abide by commitments to abandon the practice. The 2002 UN Special Session on Children, endorsed by 69 heads of states and government and 190 high level national delegations, set a goal to end female genital mutilation and cutting by the year 2010.

UNICEF believes that in order to end the practice, nations must build a protective environment for children – not only through education but also as part of overall economic and social development work. Comprehensive, culturally sensitive approaches are needed to address and begin to change community attitudes toward FGM/C, a deeply-rooted tradition that in many societies is believed to be a religious obligation.

Bellamy acknowledged the generous contribution of the Italian Government of 1.8 million Euro – received in 2004 - which will be used to strengthen coordination and partnerships, and to support the FGM/C abandonment program. The Italian Government contribution will be used at the regional level where FGM/C is prevalent.

For background:

UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre in Florence is in the process of preparing a digest on FGM/C which will be launched in the first half of 2005.

A majority of UNICEF offices in countries where FGM/C is prevalent are now working with communities towards the abandonment of FGM/C. Those offices include Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen and Oman.

UNICEF works closely with NGOs to put an end to FGM/C. Partners include AIDOS, an Italian NGO, and No Peace without Justice. Other NGOs include RAINBO, an African led International organization based in the UK and Tostan in Senegal. The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, based in Addis Ababa, is also a key partner.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news